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Pacific Northwest College of Art
Established 1910
Type Private
President Dr. Thomas Manley
Faculty 67
Students 545
Location Portland, Oregon, United States
45°31′44″N 122°41′02″W / 45.5289°N 122.6839°W / 45.5289; -122.6839Coordinates: 45°31′44″N 122°41′02″W / 45.5289°N 122.6839°W / 45.5289; -122.6839
Campus Urban
Pacific Northwest College of Art

The Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is a college in Portland, Oregon, United States that grants Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and Master of Fine Arts degrees. With nine departments, communication design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, intermedia, a mentor-based MFA in Visual Studies, and an MFA in applied Craft and Design. PNCA also provides continuing education in the arts to the local community.


Programs and degrees

  • BFA degree
  • MFA degree in Visual Studies
  • BFA/BA degree with Reed College
  • Continuing Education Program
  • Certificate Program: Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration
  • MFA degree (joined degree) with OCAC (Oregon College of Art and Craft)


PNCA was created in 1909 by the Portland Art Museum, and remained "The Museum Art School" until 1980. The college changed its name to reflect an independence from the museum. In April 1994, the school formally split from the art museum to become the Pacific Northwest College of Art, a fully independent institution. In 1998, the college moved to its present campus in Portland's Pearl District, allowing the Portland Art Museum to create a new contemporary wing.


PNCA employs 18 full-time faculty (nine tenured), 49 part-time faculty, and a large number of continuing education faculty. All faculty are working artists and designers, many showing both nationally and internationally. Of the faculty, MK Guth is noteworthy. Guth recently participated in the 2008 Whitney Biennial[1], she was chair of the MFA program at PNCA (FIVE) until Spring of 2009. In 2009 the chair was taken over by Arnold Kemp.


2009/2010 enrollment in the BFA program is 500 full-time students. 54% of students are from out of state and 46% are from Oregon. The MFA program has 15 students per cohort; in 2009 there will be three cohorts. Two in the MFA in Visual Studies and one in the new MFA in Applied Craft and Design a joint program with the Oregon College of Art and Craft. The continuing education program serves more than 2,500 students part-time per year. 80 students currently reside in the PNCA housing, Goose Hollow.


PNCA is primarily located in a cluster of warehouse buildings in northwest Portland, in the Pearl District. The primary campus building and ancillary teaching facilities in nearby buildings total over 100,000 square feet. The campus includes twelve public exhibition galleries, two professional galleries and ten spaces reserved for student and community showings. The galleries include: the Feldman Gallery, Higgins Gallery, Manuel Izqueirdo Sculpture Gallery, BFA Gallery, special project space, Gallery 214, the IMAG, the Swigert Commons, the In Flux space, the Vorhies Library gallery, the Hall of Illustration, and the little-utilized Stephens Exhibition Space. PNCA supports a fully functioning professional design firm, operated by the students and their mentors, the [1] or C4D. This firm, operated in a separate satellite commercial space, works to execute professional design projects for its clients. The client provides funding for production costs and the students receive a portfolio filled with actual design work and a working client list. In January 2009, the board of the Museum of Contemporary Craft and PNCA's board of Governors agreed to securing MCC under the banner of PNCA. [2]


PNCA is lead by Dr. Thomas Manley, an expert in Asian studies and an art collector. President Manley has brought about advances in contemporary art education including his innovative Global Studios courses. Manley, a 22-year veteran of the Claremont Colleges, primarily Pitzer College, has expanded the size of the college both physically and academically, with his bare hands. Most notably in the negotiation with the federal government to secure the historic 511 Federal Building, in order to double the current campus facility.




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